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-[-q-] Consider the following, as your terms, the pact would need to account for several factors not controlled by you nor myself, including the production of viable offspring, either a firstborn, hatchling or flock, the quality of my capacity to understand the tomes being related to my genetic make up and the capacity of raising it to a suitable state of maturity without interference of "master" who could well end the venture at the first stages. Leaving at best with a long shot.
-[-q-] As such in the pursuit of the best interests of all concerning parts I propose that I would read the books that are solicited by yourself at the best of my capacity and be of assistance, while you compromise to providing me the information needed for my ventures and our possible escape from this burrow.
--[-q-] Also, the possibility of creating offspring will be left open for a time in which the conditions would be less hostile for its healthy upbringing. Not that I'm adverse to the person itself, of course.
She does have a point. You have no idea what Wriggle is planning. There may be something that she could do that would make you wish that you had taken this offer. So you have to give this a good deal of thought, in order to ensure that you do not hamper your own chances of escaping by turning the girl down.
By the same token, you have no guarantee that the child, should you have one, would even survive for very long here in these burrows. Should you fail in your attempt, it is not unlikely that others whom assisted you might be punished.
"How about this, then." Turning back around, you look into those red eyes as you stare each other down. "We can compromise. I assist you by reading you what I can out of these books, to sate your lust for their contents. For that, you can assist me by providing information needed to assist us in escaping the burrow."
She raises one eyebrow at you, before cocking a crooked grin. "That still leaves a rather large if. What if you perish in your attempted escape from this abode that is here? You are aware that such an event would require removing Wriggle from the situation, at least in the short term."
"Indeed…" Sighing, you glance away. "However, what do you expect her to do if I rebel so openly? Would she not hunt down those that have assisted her?"
"There is not a large ground here for her to hunt down…" Pursing her lips, she reaches out and turns your head back to hers. "However, I do not believe that she need to look in many places. And I have no desire to become one of her personal play toys. She does not have what I seek in a desirable mate."
"No. A heart."
You blink a few times as you comprehend that statement. "Really now? I would not have thought that you cared for such a thing…"
Glaring at you, she presses one of her clawed fingers into your chest. "Do not judge me so eagerly, stupid birdie. My three lovers each have a heart quite so big, even if one of them does not have a lick of sense to back it up. However, at least they care."
Well, if she is happy with her delusions, you're not going to shatter those. "Noted. So, does that sound acceptable to you? I shall read to you whenever I have the opportunity, and you will assist me with your knowledge of the burrow, along with anything else?"
The girl stares at you, while biting her lip. "That does not answer my initial offer, birdie. You have ignored what it is that I requested in the first place…"
"That I have. But for good reason." Holding up a hand, you begin to count off the reasons. "One: You assume that my capacity to understand this one tome extends to understanding of them all. Even if you do assume that, you also assume that whatever knowledge I have within me will be passed down to the next generation."
Ticking off one finger, you continue. "Secondly, you also assume that if we were to produce offspring, that it would be singular. However, we do not know if our reproductive systems would be capable of that, or if we would instead have a flock instead of a singularly hatchling. Thirdly, there is the initial supposition that we would be able to produce viable offspring. That was one of the first things you pointed out to me as well."
"True, I did that." Sighing, she looks away from your eyes. "Such testing could easily be achieved, though. It might take only fifteen minutes if you allowed me to begin the examinations posthaste."
"Tokiko." Waiting for her to look back at her, you continue. "I will consider the possibility. However, we can discuss the technicalities at a later time. Particularly a period of time in which the conditions will be less hostile towards the upbringing of children."
The ibis' headwing flaps back and forth as she contemplates it all. "So you say. However, I hope you do not skirt the responsibility by considering and then dismissing my desires, before escaping on your own. Perhaps with that little sparrow up there with you?" Pinching her nose, she shakes her head. "I am not sure I am willing to agree with such a thing. After all, if I am to assist you, I will have to remain in this form, which requires me to worry about an inordinate number of details I prefer to ignore most of the time. Principally hygiene and body odor, although nail care is another one I could do without."
Not knowing why it is such a big deal, you just shake your head, ignoring the fact that you yourself have not bathed in quite a while either. "Well, how about this. After we escape, I swear that we will have a discussion on potential offspring of ours. However, we only will do such a thing once we have ensured that the conditions of its upbringing are healthy enough. Do you agree?"
She stares at you for a few more seconds. "Do I have a choice? That is the only way I am going to get what I desire." A crooked smile grows on her face as she stares up at you. "Perhaps you are cleverer than even I had supposed. Although your appearance is somewhat craven and slovenly, the mind behind that mask is much greater than I anticipated. I hadn't anticipated you to turn the terms around upon myself."
Taking the compliment for what it was worth, and the insult for what it wasn't, you merely shake your head as you wait for her answer. "…Well?"
Instead of answering, she stares off into the distance. "You really are determined to escape with us all, are you not? Is your hero complex so grand that you'd accept no substitute than complete victory over your foes, and the adoring arms of hens grasping you as you stand atop their mangled and somewhat vitrified corpse?"
"I'd like to not think that it's a complex." Watching her for a few moments more, you continue on. "I'm just doing the best that I can do. It wouldn't be right to leave any of you behind."
"A complex, indeed. A white knight, sure to do his best to defend those under his protection, only to fall under the dragon's claw and fiery breath when he overextends himself." Giggling all of a sudden, she grins at you. "I know what type of bird you are!"
"You do?" Quizzically, you tilt your head to the side at this odd turn in the discussion, you can't help but to ask, "What type would that be?"
"A turkey!" Giggling louder, she pats you on your shoulder. "A vicious creatures, attacking all that may threaten it and viciously defending those it claims as its own. I indeed think I shall call you Tom now. I'm sure that you'll like it."
"Actually, my name is—"
"Tom, enough of that." She shoots you a look before petting you on the cheek. "You are sending a girl swooning at your grand talk about defiance against the unknown. If I were younger, I might be swooning and blushing and trying to steal your undergarments to smell."
Considering what they have been through, it might be a good thing that she isn't. "…I thought that you said that you were a bird. Not a girl."
Again she giggles, this time a bit too loudly to be a normal, sane laughter. "I lied. I haven't the damnedest clue in all of the many hells as to what I am. That's why I like being a bird. So much simpler than being a bird and a girl at the same time. Not to mention that birds do not have to deal with clothing all of the time. It is quite a pain to materialize them on my body when I take this form."
"Quite. Too bad you didn't take a look at first. I accidentally had my underwear on my head. Although, they do make a rather fetching hat."
Seeing that she seems determined enough or spastic enough to ignore your earlier point, you decide to get her back on track. "Tokiko, you still haven't answered me yet. Are you going to—"
Something warm and soft on your mouth cuts you off from speaking, and you merely stand there in shock. You had not even see the girl move, as one second she was rambling on with her insane laughter, and the next moment she is kissing you. However, it ends soon enough as she pulls away and winks at you. "I accept. Now come along, future-lover-to-be Tom! There is much to do before we can commence the sharing of information."
You stare dumbfounded at her as she grabs at your hand, tugging you to the next pile. "Chop-chop! These piles are not about to sort themselves, after all! Too bad that the Master hates elementals, as being a stack of books or a pile of crap that automatically sorts itself seems like their kind of shtick. Instead, we shall do it ourselves with blood and sweat and other, far nastier fluids that have technical designations that are certainly able to boggle your mind."
"…S-sure…" Blushing heavily, you follow after her and begin the work once again. A few minutes later, during which you make pretty good headway through the pile you had abandoned earlier, she finally speaks up.
"You are aware that if you are becoming far too exhausted, you can remove that shirt of yours. It is much cooler without it, and I am sure you will enjoy making that shirt smell not nearly as badly."
"And how much of it is because you want to see me with my shirt off?"
"That is merely one of several additional benefits for such an action."
The work is long and difficult, but not nearly as bad now that you have the ibis on your side. Although, such a term is subjective, as she spends half of the time making odd sexual allusions while the other half of the time is spent making random comparisons about items that are in no way similar.
Still, you do persevere. The job itself is not as hard as it could have been, given the additional strength you gained in your transformation. All in all, it is just tedious.
After what you assume is a few hours, the work begins to come to an end as you reach the last pile on the ground. Once all of its component pieces were separated, the jewels and books and junk were all placed together and set aside. The armor and weapons were put together as you do your best to not touch anything that screams danger at you.
Even as you finish that much, though, you turns your eyes upward. You see that there is much more that yet needs to be done above. You turn your eyes to racks and racks of shelves, along with many other piles that line the upper stories of the room. "Lovely… Should I try and just have all the piles separated, or should I stay down here?"
The ibis takes the moment to chirp in. "Do you even know how to fly? Or are those turkey wings of yours for show, Tom?" She grins at you as she spreads her own. "Don't tell me that you've been given wings and haven't even attempted flight. I might have to revise my initial projections downwards from earlier. After all, wouldn't one such as you be willing to take advantage of whatever may be at hand, especially if you intend to fight Wriggle mano a buggo?"
[ ] Might as well finish the current job. It'd at least let you try to fly.
[ ] There are still plenty of books down here that need to be shelved. Do that, then put the junk on the shelves.
[ ] …You could read to her, now that you're done. After all, she has been helping you all this time.
Congrats. You have an insane psychotic bird waiting for the moment she can carry your child. Although, I was waiting myself for someone to come up with something a bit simpler. Such as giving away your ability to read for her unconditional support. Not that such a thing doesn't have its own drawbacks.